San Jose Mercury News | Donna Jones
The Watsonville man was remembered as a family man with an appreciation for life, despite a lifelong struggle with a serious medical condition.
"He could find the humor in any situation," said Samantha Carroll, his wife of 14 years. "No matter how bad it was, he could always find something to joke about to make everyone laugh."
It was a quality that helped sustain the Carrolls through difficult times.
Carroll, a Long Beach native, was born with a heart defect that transposed his aorta and pulmonary artery. He had surgery at 18 months to mitigate the defect, according to his wife. At age 12, he had a pacemaker operation. Several more surgeries followed in subsequent years.
But by 2010, his heart weakened to the point where a transplant was necessary. His lungs, last in line to get blood because his heart pumped backward, also had been damaged.
A transplant would mean "a whole new life," Patrick Carroll told the Sentinel in 2010 as he waited to find out if doctors evaluating his condition would put him on a list for the operation. At the time, he had so little stamina he couldn't play catch with his children.
When the call came from transplant doctors in early March, he was on 15 different medications to keep his heart functioning.
Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20364584/watsonville-heart-transplant-recipient-patrick-carroll-dies-complications